March 2, 2006

Rabbit Stifado

Rabbit Stifado

1/2 cup red-wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
4-6 grains allspice (or ¼ tsp ground)
1 stick cinnamon
4 bayleaves
1 orange, zested
1 large rabbit (or 2 small), jointed
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2/3 cup red wine
1 pound pearl onions, peeled
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp honey
Salt and pepper

In a bowl, mix the vinegar, garlic, allspice, cinnamon, bay and orange zest. Add the rabbit, stir to make sure the meat is well covered, then leave to marinade overnight or for 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 325F. Take out the rabbit bits and dry on kitchen towel. Heat the oil in a casserole, and fry the rabbit, a few pieces at a time, until golden all over. Once browned, put all the rabbit bits in the casserole, add the marinade, wine, onions, tomato puree and honey, then add water to cover and bring to a simmer on the stove-top. Transfer to the oven for an hour and a half or so, until the meat is falling off the bones. Check the juices for seasoning, and if necessary reduce to an intensity you like.

Notes: The recipe I adapted this from came from the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper. In the article, Matthew Fort claimed to develop this version of the dish after having something like it on Corfu in a taverna. As for me, I first tasted this dish at Molyvos in New York, and have heard that their recipe appears in their cookbook. Otherwise, it appears to be a closely guarded secret as I couldn't turn up any other versions online. Someday I will have to try Molyvos' version and compare the two, but in the meantime this came out very well, and provided that something out of the ordinary which I was looking for in creating a memorable birthday dinner. I also got to christen my Le Creuset casserole dish -- and it came out marvelous. Plus, I ate the leftovers for lunch a few days later, and they were still tasty and tender and quite good.

Posted by Jennifer at March 2, 2006 4:47 PM | TrackBack

This stifado was quite delicious, and a very nice birthday treat indeed. Thank you! The rabbit was wonderfully tender, and, though it may not have been quite as good as the Molyvos version, I thought it was pretty darned tasty.

Posted by: Michael at March 5, 2006 9:45 PM
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